Turned wooden boxes are among the oldest things made on the lathe. Some boxes are plain and practical, but even long ago turners often decorated them with turned beads and grooves. They can hold everything from jewelry to pins or postage stamps. They may be minimalist in design, vehicles for complex ornamental turning or somewhere in between. But a box’s use is usually a secondary consideration. People value hand-turned wooden boxes with lids for their own sake, and they are usually made to be things of beauty.
This is why a nicely turned box may be more likely than most wooden items to survive through time. It may eventually become a family heirloom. Many examples survive in homes and collections of treen. Their owners treasure them, and a turned box is always a welcome gift.
A box on a shelf may contain almost anything, or nothing at all. Who can resist opening it?